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Best Private Schools in Chattanooga, TN

6 Best Chattanooga Private Schools 🎓 | Guide to Private Schools in Chattanooga TN

Last Updated on: 21st July 2023, 01:23 am

Chattanooga is located on the Tennessee River in the foothills of the scenic Appalachian Mountains. Downtown features a historic art district and a stunning riverwalk. Top attractions in the city include the Tennessee Aquarium, Lookout Mountain, Civil War battlefield sites, the African American Museum, and the Appalachian Trail. Chattanooga is a place for outdoor activities such as hang-gliding, bass fishing, and mountain climbing, as well as exploring the many caves in the area. 

If you’re moving with kids and you are considering sending them to Chattanooga private schools, you’ll want to know how good the facilities are in the city and where to find the best education. Chattanooga has a wide variety of private schools, including faith-based schools, challenging schools, and affordable schools. 

When deciding on the best private schools in Chattanooga to send your kids to, there are some key factors to look for, such as achievement, growth, attendance, proficiency in English and math, AP participation rate, graduation rate, and postsecondary readiness of students. Other indicators include student enrollment, classroom size, teacher/student ratio, teacher qualifications, extracurricular activities, programs for gifted students, and school expenditures and funding, One other indicator to look for is if a school has won any awards or recognitions.

We’ve gathered a list of the best private schools in Chattanooga to help you find the right education for your children. 

Best Private Middle/High Schools in Chattanooga

There are some excellent private high schools in Chattanooga that offer strong academic programs, STEM programs, and extracurricular activities such as arts and athletics. Here are some of the best private high schools in Chattanooga.

Baylor School – Top-rated college prep curriculum

Type: private, coeducational, college-preparatory school

Grades: 6-12, including boarding students in grades 9-12

Enrollment: 1,071

Student-teacher ratio: 10:1

Address: Baylor School, 171 Baylor School Rd, Chattanooga, TN 37405


Baylor School is located on 690 beautiful acres just 4 miles north of downtown Chattanooga on the Tennessee River. More than two-thirds of the 148 faculty members hold advanced degrees. Baylor offers one of the best academic programs in Tennessee, including 22 AP courses. In addition to the core curriculum of math, English, science, and history, students can study a variety of languages, such as Spanish, French, Latin, German, and Chinese. College placement is a priority at Baylor. Ninety-nine percent of Baylor graduates attend four-year colleges and universities. Students have gone on to attend Ivy League schools and other top-rated universities such as Stanford, Duke, and Johns Hopkins, making Baylor one of the best Chattanooga private high schools.

Baylor has more than 60 extracurricular organizations for students. The Round Table Literary Discussion Society, the Peer Tutor Program, the Student Congress and Model United Nations Team, and the annual Periaktoi art magazine are just a few. Baylor’s 10th and 11th-grade students can participate in a student exchange program with schools around the world.

About 20% of Baylor’s students live on campus, offering them an immersive educational experience unmatched in the state. The boys’ and girls’ dormitories are staffed 24/7 by teachers who serve as dorm parents to ensure a safe environment to live and learn.

Baylor has the best high-school sports program in Tennessee and is nationally ranked by Sports Illustrated. Some of the school’s many athletic achievements include:

  • 157 state championships
  • 16 consecutive victories in women’s golf from 1995-2012 (a national record)
  • National champions in men’s and women’s swimming (by Swimming World magazine)
  • National champions in football (according to National Sports News Service)
  • Brian Gottfried played tennis for Baylor and went on to become the 3rd-ranked singles player in the world


Some of the many athletics Bayor offers are baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross-country running, football, golf, softball, soccer, swimming, tennis, and wrestling.

McCallie School – Christian all-boys private boarding school in Chattanooga


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Type: private all-boys boarding school

Grades: 6-12

Enrollment: 980 (33% boarding)

Student-teacher ratio: 8:1

Address: McCallie School, 500 Dodds Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37404


McCallie School sits on a stunning 120-acre campus 3 miles east of downtown Chattanooga. The school was founded in 1905 and offers a college-prep curriculum taught by 129 full-time faculty members. The average class size of 14. They offer 19 AP and 7 challenging, post-AP classes in math, science, and English. In 2022, 125 students earned AP Scholar, and 53 won AP Scholar with Distinction Status. The National Merit Scholarship Program recognized 9 McCallie students in 2022.

In addition to the core classes, McCallie offers Bible and related courses and over 20 music and arts classes. Students are required to take a certain number of arts and music classes to graduate. The McCallie boarding school is consistently ranked as one of the top three private high schools in Tennessee. Nationally, the school is ranked in the top 30 best overall all-boys high schools and in the top 100 boarding schools.

McCallie competes in 15 varsity sports, including football, cross country, track and field, basketball, golf, and soccer. The school won state championships in tennis, cross-country, track and field, and football in 2021 and has won 54 team and individual state titles in the last four years.

Girls Preparatory School –  All-female college preparatory school

Type: private, all-girl, college-preparatory school

Grades: 6-12

Enrollment: 608

Student-teacher ratio: 9:1

Address: Girls Preparatory School, 205 Island Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37405


Girls Preparatory School (GPS) was founded in 1906 and is located only 2 miles north of downtown Chattanooga. The school employs 66 faculty members, over 80% of whom hold advanced degrees. In the past 13 years, GPS has graduated 49 National Merit Semifinalists.

The GPS STEM program is nationally recognized and challenges students to think beyond the classroom and develop skills that feed their aspirations to become engineers, astronauts, doctors, or entrepreneurs. The Fine and Performing Arts Program offers more than 40 arts classes in visual arts, dance, theater, and instrumental and vocal music. The program allows girls to express themselves, develop new interests, take risks, and discover hidden talents that they will take with them wherever they go.

GPS athletic programs include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, and more. Since 2006, GPS has won 20 state championships in various sports.

Best Private Elementary Schools in Chattanooga

There are a variety of great private elementary schools in Chattanooga for elementary-age students. Many of the private elementary schools in Chattanooga are Christian schools and either enroll grades K-12 or K-8. Here are some of the best Chattanooga private elementary schools:

Boyd Buchanan School – Co-educational private Christian school

Type: private, co-educational Christian school

Grades: Pre-K to 12

Enrollment: 1051 (330 K-5 elementary students)

Student-teacher ratio: 12:1

Address: Boyd Buchanan School, 4650 Buccaneer Trail, Chattanooga, TN 37411


First opened in 1952 as Chattanooga Bible School, the primary school was renamed Boyd Buchanan in 1960. Boyd Buchanan is located on 60 acres about 6.5 miles east of downtown Chattanooga, next to the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport. The elementary, middle, and high schools are located in separate buildings. The elementary school takes an interdisciplinary, child-centered approach to education, allowing students to strive, succeed, and flourish in a Christ-centered environment. Students participate in daily Bible lessons and attend chapel weekly. The curriculum is project-based, where students work collaboratively to solve problems and employ critical thinking. Extra activities include an art museum, musical productions, and more.

Belvoir Christian Academy – Top-rated Christian private school in Chattanooga

Type: private, private Christian school

Grades: Pre-K to 8

Enrollment: 93

Student-teacher ratio: 11:1

Address: Belvoir Christian Academy, 800 Belvoir Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37412


Belvoir Christian Academy is located 7 miles southeast of downtown Chattanooga. The Chattanooga private elementary school was founded in 1887 with a mission to make disciples for Jesus, encourage lifelong learning, and provide a nurturing environment for all students. Belvoir is a Lutheran Church-affiliated private school, but they welcome all denominations. The curriculum for Pre-K through 8th grade is challenging and age-appropriate, focusing on traditional education and technology, as well as promoting Christian, family-oriented values. Teachers set high academic standards that students are expected to meet. In addition to the core subjects, they offer Spanish and advanced math courses.

Chattanooga Christian School – Academically challenging, distinctively Christian education

Type: private, private Christian school

Grades: Pre-K to 12

Enrollment: 1,475

Student-teacher ratio: 11:1

Address: Chattanooga Christian School, 3354 Charger Dr, Chattanooga, TN 37409


Chattanooga Christian School is located about 2.5 miles south of downtown Chattanooga on a beautiful 55-acre campus at the foot of Lookout Mountain. The school has state-of-the-art facilities, including the Power House Gym, Lower School STEM room for elementary students, Fine Arts Center, Upper School Science Lab, and learning commons.

The elementary (Lower School) curriculum is comprehensive and standards-based, focused on essential, biblically-integrated questions and life-long understanding. Teachers engage students through individualized instruction and dynamic teaching practices. Reading and math instructions are focused on comprehension, reasoning, and critical thinking and taught in small group settings to build trust and encourage participation. Students are given 60 minutes of structured physical activity every day. This top-rated Chattanooga private elementary school has great test scores as well.

Chattanooga Private Schools FAQ

What is the best private high school in Chattanooga?

Baylor School and McCallie School are both highly-rated private high schools in Chattanooga and 2 of the highest-ranking private high schools in the state.

Does Chattanooga have good private schools?

Yes. Chattanooga has some top-rated private schools

How many private schools are in Chattanooga?

There are 27 private schools in Chattanooga, including 11 high schools.


If you’ve found the perfect private school in Chattanooga for your kids to attend, make sure you check the admission requirements and apply early. If you’re planning to move to Chattanooga to ensure your children get the quality education they deserve, give Chattanooga movers a call today at 423-716-3025 for a free moving estimate! Our 5-star experts will take care of your move and relieve you of all the stress. You can also check out our moving to Chattanooga guide to find out the best neighborhoods, restaurants, things to do, and more in the city.


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